Watch Phoebe Bridgers, Philip Glass, Jackson Browne, & Scorchio Quartet Play An Orchestral “Kyoto” For Tibet House Benefit
Once a year, the composer Philip Glass puts together his annual Tibet House benefit, raising money for the educational nonprofit and cultural embassy in New York. Most years, Glass welcomes a group of meticulously chosen luminaries to perform at Carnegie Hall. This year, though, the Tibet House benefit, like every other big annual benefit show, went virtual. Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Annie Lennox, the Flaming Lips, and Brittany Howard, among many others, contributed to last night’s livestream. But as with so many things these days, Phoebe Bridgers had the biggest moment.
Bridgers, fresh off of her SNL guitar-smashing and its attendant brouhaha, performed an orchestral version of her Punisher single “Kyoto,” and she had help. Philip Glass joined Bridgers for “Kyoto,” as did the avant-garde ensemble Scorchio Quartet. Jackson Browne, the ’70s-rock all-star and past Bridgers booster, also helped out. (Browne sang backup on Bridgers’ 2018 cover of McCarthy Trenching’s “Christmas Song,” and Bridgers and Browne both covered “With A Little Help From My Friends” with Mandy Moore last year.)
For the Tibet House performance, all the collaborators worked together remotely, with Browne singing backup and Glass playing piano. Nobody played guitar, which meant no guitars were smashed, even though Browne had a whole rack of them behind him. It sounded beautiful! After “Kyoto,” Bridgers also played “Moon Song,” with regular collaborator Rob Moose backing her up on violin. Between songs, Bridgers pointed out that last year’s Tibet House benefit was the last time she played live for actual people. Watch a minute of “Kyoto” below.
You can buy access to the Tibet House benefit stream here. Punisher is out now on Dead Oceans.